MCR recognizes energy efficiency (EE) is no longer simply a compliance obligation, but rather is part of broader strategic efforts in grid modernization, distributed energy resources (DER) and customer engagement. MCR brings together internal functional areas that are affected directly or influenced indirectly by EE operations and regulation to ensure awareness and alignment. Together, we facilitate development of internal EE strategies that are complementary to and consistent with what have traditionally been core business strategies, and assist in development and execution of tactical plans.
MCR identifies areas where policy/regulatory activity explicitly related to EE affects other functional areas and where such activity affects EE. We weave together these political and regulatory agendas and facilitate development of external EE strategies and tactical execution plans that are aligned with and support non-EE functional areas. We support execution by providing issues analysis and assisting with relationship management with regulators, key customers, EM&V evaluators, consumer groups and other stakeholders.
MCR develops forecasts of technical, economic and achievable energy efficiency potential. Our approach to such work is distinct in that it is transparent, not wholly reliant on the federal energy surveys (RECS, CBECS and MECS), and includes primary research to accurately segment and describe client markets. Our approach is also comprehensive in that it includes consideration of DR and DER. Importantly, when we forecast potential, we do so with explicit consideration of segment-specific measures, not simply segments and end-uses.
MCR achieves energy efficiency potential, whether the underlying potential study is developed by us or otherwise, by designing programs with proven market segment-driven delivery channels and by comprehensively incorporating current technologies and practices. We constantly ask the question, “What does the data tell us this market segment needs?” rather than simply tweak existing program designs without consideration of their going-forward relevance and effectiveness. All of our program designs are carefully thought out from a process and data perspective in light of our commitment to the principle that programs designed to be measured measure well.
MCR sees the rapid evolution of technology and customer desires and preferences as an opportunity for, not as a threat to utilities and their EE programs. To that end, we develop and either implement directly or coordinate implementation of programs, and provide measurement and reporting of pilot programs and data or administrative innovation. Examples include pioneering work on optimizing water and energy efficiency, geotargeting of EE programs to provide non-wires relief to distribution systems and use of battery storage as a peak (and thus total resource cost) mitigation tool. Our work on data management and modeling and analysis of advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) data is cutting edge.
MCR analyzes the operating processes of energy efficiency organizations and improve how they plan, implement, and evaluate the programs in their energy efficiency portfolios, as well as the overall administration of the portfolios. We develop internal processes and structures to ensure awareness and collaboration among the many functional areas that now affect or are affected by EE.
MCR analyzes energy efficiency program data management and reporting systems and identifies opportunities for improving existing systems. We deeply examine and map business processes to develop business requirements for new EE (and DR and DER) data management systems that are both accurate and actionable. We then assist in system procurement processes and provide client advocacy and project management assistance from the EE business’s perspective throughout the design and development, and/or system configuration process, including testing and rollout.
MCR provides overall program management and oversight of third-party implementation vendors. Our program implementation services include developing RFPs and contractor statements of work, then staying engaged in procurement through proposal review, vendor selection, and contracting. We perform quality assurance functions to include project review, site verifications and preparation of responses to evaluator data requests and/or rebuttal of critical findings when warranted.
MCR develops site-specific, engineering-based energy efficiency projects, often pursuant to memoranda of understanding directly between our utility clients and their largest customers. The projects include retro-commissioning of municipal, university, primary and secondary education, and healthcare facilities. Sometimes, these projects take the form of public agency partnerships where our utility clients partner with local governmental organizations to undertake high-value energy efficiency projects.
Energy Utility Offerings
Energy utilities must obtain adequate responses to implementation solicitations (RFI/RFA/RFP, etc.), qualify would-be implementers, perform proposal scoring and vendor selection, convert provider proposals into contract statements of work and then present their contracts for regulatory approval. MCR can assist utility program sponsors in navigating contracting challenges and regulatory hurdles by relieving general purchasing staff and over-burdened energy efficiency department staff from performing these specialized tasks. Services include drafting solicitation releases, facilitating bidder conferences, developing scoring criteria, training utility staff proposal evaluators, conducting scoring, creating selection criteria, facilitating scoring calibration, recording and required regulatory reporting of selection results.
State Regulator Offerings
State regulators must oversee utility solicitation processes to ensure objective and unbiased use of ratepayer funds for hundreds of millions of dollars in energy efficiency programming annually. They need qualified, independent and objective oversight from technical experts who can review the entire utility solicitation process and serve as a consultant to the regulatory commission. As an independent evaluator, MCR performs detailed reviews of solicitation document development by utilities, monitors all bidder communications, evaluates and shadow scores all bidder responses, analyzes all data and workpapers, provides recommendations to the utility and regulators throughout the solicitation, observes contract negotiations and selection discussions, analyzes bidder implementation plans and reports on all findings. MCR’s review is used to inform the regulatory oversight.